Doctors May Be Leaving South Africa Ahead of New National Health Insurance (NHI) System

The incoming NHI will rely on a large network of doctors to service patients around the country, with government promising ‘universal health coverage’.

However, the Sunday Times reports that the bill has renewed fears about mass emigration of doctors and other health professionals, which would kill any health plan that relies explicitly on there being more doctors.

Speaking to the paper, Dr Chris Archer, CEO of the South African Private Practitioners Forum said that his members are extremely concerned and that the bill may drive emigration as “those who want to leave see it as a reason to do so”.

Profmed medical aid CEO Craig Comrie said that health professionals are already emigrating.

Comrie said Profmed’s members are mainly health professionals, of whom 17% leave each year. This rose to 30% in June and July.

Alex van den Heever, Wits School of Governance professor, added that he expects medical professionals to emigrate in their hundreds, joining their countrymen in countries like Dubai and Australia.

Research

These concerns align with research published by Solidarity, which has previously warned that the introduction of the NHI could lead to a mass exodus of doctors from the country.

One of the most worrying findings in the survey was that 83.2% of healthcare workers believed that private health professionals will leave the country if the NHI is implemented. 43% of the respondents said that they themselves would consider emigrating.

There was also a firm belief that the scheme would completely destabilize the country’s healthcare as a result.

The major points of concern are:

  • Shortages of specialists, doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare workers;
  • Financial management of the NHI;
  • Purchasing and distribution of medicines and equipment; and
  • Maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SA Home Affairs Watchdog Launches Twitter Account to Talk Directly to Customers

The Home Affairs Portfolio Committee has launched a twitter account to play watchdog to strengthen its oversight work.

Parliamentary Communication Services Malatswa Molepo said @PConHomeAffairs was “intended to bridge the communication gap between the committee and the customers of the department”.

Advocate Bongani Bongo, the Chairperson of the committee said if the committee was to enhance service delivery to the required standard, it had to be willing to adapt to changes to the environment in which it operated.

“Social media presents an opportunity for instantaneous communication with the public, and will assist in providing first-hand information about their daily experiences at Home Affairs offices,” Bongo said.

Molepo said the committee viewed effective oversight as a precursor to efficient service delivery.

“Furthermore, effective oversight requires that a variety of voices are heard in order to achieve a balance of views.”

The committee pleaded with customers not to only highlight the negatives, however, note those departmental working optimally and improving service delivery.

The committee said it intends to use issues raised on the platform as a basis for its oversight over the department.

“The department will also be required, from time to time, to respond directly on issues raised on the platform.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Japan Invests $1.8 Million in Sustainable Plastic Alternatives Project in South Africa

The Government of Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a funding agreement for a project to support a transition from conventional plastics to sustainable alternatives in South Africa.

The Government of Japan announced the funding support of US$1.8m for the UNIDO project during the G20 Osaka summit in June when the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, held a summit meeting with the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The initiative supports the G20’s Blue Ocean Vision which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050.

There are ongoing efforts to develop a local bioplastic industry in South Africa. The South African Bioplastics Forum was established in 2016 as a result of a joint initiative of the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology (DHEST), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Plastics SA. The country has large amounts of sugar cane bagasse and other biomass feedstocks suitable for bioplastics; and an emerging bioplastics industry has the potential to create new jobs.

UNIDO will work with the CSIR to develop an action plan to strengthen the capacity of local industry to manufacture alternative materials, and build up capacities for plastic recycling.

Recently, bio-degradable plastics have gained attention as one approach to deal with the scourge of plastic pollution. However, when bringing new materials onto the market, particular attention needs to be paid to ensuring that the overall environmental footprint is not increased and that new types of waste are not created that cannot be recycled and that increase the amount of waste; or hindering efforts to increase circularity. The project will help to assess all possible scenario and choose appropriate material for South African contexts, and will suggest necessary steps needed to set up an enabling environment.

At the project launch ceremony, Japan’s Ambassador to South Africa, Norio Maruyama, said that the signing ceremony marked the concrete achievement of what was discussed at the G20 in June 2019. He emphasized the importance of the collaboration of South African companies in the project.

Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) referred to the key objectives of South Africa’s National Development Plan, and said “The dti welcomes the support by the Japanese government and the partnership between UNIDO and the CSIR, since biodegradable plastics are just being introduced locally.”

The CSIR representative, Khungeka Njobe, said, “We look forward to partnering with government and industry in addressing the very important issue of waste plastic.”

Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO Representative, said, “Such an initiative will be a model of good practice which can be disseminated to other countries in the SADC region. The experience acquired by South Africa could be extended to neighbouring countries where the triangular cooperation model with UNIDO and Japan may be replicated and adapted to the local development set-up.”

Trudi Makhaya, Economic Advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa, welcomed this initiative. She said, “We hope that from this partnership there is agreement that there will be a lot of innovation but also a lot of practical applications of the innovations to new industries and new forms of economic activity that are inclusive, that take communities along, and that ensure that this new economy does not reproduce some of the flaws of the past.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Brian Yurasits [1], [2].

A Warm Welcome to our Two New Team Members

We have recently added two new team members at our Head Office in Cape Town, South Africa. We would like to officially wish them both a warm welcome, and introduce them to you.

Lynn Mackenzie
Immigration Lead

Lynn has joined us as our Immigration Lead. As such, she will be heading up our Immigration division, and is responsible for

In January 2018, Lynn returned to Cape Town, her hometown, after spending 17 years studying and working in Los Angeles, California, USA. She received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and her Juris Doctor in Law from California institutions.

Whilst studying, Lynn worked as an executive assistant for a faith-based organisation, where she excelled in administratively managing the daily operations of the organisation. Upon graduation from law school in 2011, Lynn was motivated to pursue her interests in law and politics, and began working as a Legislative Analyst with the California Treatment Advocacy Foundation. There, she wrote policy recommendations to further legislative initiatives, required to be presented before the California Health Senate. She thoroughly enjoyed this position as it sharpened her skills and knowledge of the legal and legislative process.

In 2014, Lynn accepted a position as the Legal Services Advocate with the Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service in Los Angeles. There, she managed various programs and worked tirelessly with the Immigration team to help clients file numerous immigration applications before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the US Department of State.

In 2019, Lynn completed her Master in Laws (LL.M) in Public Law, specializing in Human Rights Law, from the University of Cape Town. She was extremely motivated to resume her work within the immigration law space, and as such, joined Relocation Africa in June 2019.

Lynn is currently Immigration Lead for Relocation Africa, and is therefore responsible for the entire immigration product line for the African Region. She is also an avid fitness enthusiast, who believes that daily exercise is good for the mind, body, and soul.

She is happy to have returned to her country of birth and is looking forward to all that lays ahead, both personally and professionally.

 

Chantelle Butcher
Client Account Specialist

Chantelle has joined us as our newest Client Account Specialist. As part of our Mobility team, Chantelle is responsible for

Chantelle has in-depth knowledge of and experience in the hospitality and culinary industries. Completing a Hospitality Management Diploma at the Cape Town Hotel School in 2008 established the foundation for the enriched, decade-long journey through the industry. It is during this time that she completed her service intervals at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel and the Mount Nelson Hotel. She obtained years of experience at 4- and 5-star properties in Cape Town.

Chantelle established her career as one of the members of the opening team for the Taj Hotel, Cape Town in 2009 – on the eve of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. With a wish to branch out overseas, she embarked on a yearlong journey on the 6-star Silver Seas cruise ship in 2012. The experience taught her the true value of hard work, patience, and international hospitality standard practices.

Arriving back in Cape Town in 2013, she returned back to her first love. She challenged herself to a career change, moving into the events industry. Working for Urbantonic as their Staffing Manager provided the opportunity to invest her years of experience by enriching and developing the skills and knowledge of South African youth looking to enter the exciting industry.

She joined the Relocation Africa Mobility team in July 2019, as a Client Account Specialist.

In her spare time, she enjoys keeping up-to-date with international current affairs, and meeting new people. Chantelle believes that enriching your life through other people’s experiences adds value to your journey.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South African Presidential Land Advisory Panel Delivers Final Report on Expropriation

The presidential expert advisory panel on land reform and agriculture has detailed the circumstances under which expropriation without compensation could be applicable in its final report which was tabled in cabinet last week.

The report was released at a media briefing on Sunday. Not all panel members agreed with all the recommendations,

The panel was appointed in September 2018 to support the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and to advise it on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support. The independent panel’s report is merely advisory and the government can pick and choose which recommendations to implement.

Parliament’s constitutional committee was tasked with amending section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation. It was agreed that the constitution would be amended. The policy of expropriation without compensation became the policy position of the governing party after its adoption at the ANC’s 2017 December national conference.

Dr Vuyo Mahlati, chair of the panel, said the panel had offered a proposal for a constitutional amendment, as it may be necessary in limited circumstances.

She said the state was already empowered to expropriate land, but it required just and equitable compensation.

She said there were different views about the necessity of amending the constitution, and that the majority of the panel had advised that compensation may be zero in circumstances that require this.

The panel’s report itself gives details as to the circumstances in which expropriation without compensation could be applied.

The report said that expropriation without compensation was understood to be one of several targeted land acquisition strategies, and that it may commence immediately under specified conditions identified for “nil” compensation, including but not limited to: abandoned land; hopelessly indebted land; land held purely for speculative purposes; land held by state entities and not utilized; land obtained through criminal activity; land already occupied and used by labor tenants and former labor tenants; informal settlement areas; inner city buildings with absentee landlords; land donations (as a form of expropriation without compensation); and farm equity schemes.

The panel’s understanding was that nationalization was not allowed under the constitution.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].